I Heart Ichiro
Can I blog about baseball? I doubt it. It is something too ingrained in me to write about I think. I inherited it from my grandmother, and like other inborn, inherited traits, it's too much a part of me to really understand. Baseball was passed down to me. Not like china. More like being short. Do I have insights into being short? It makes it hard to buy pants. That's about it.
Once when one of my students found out I follow baseball, he remarked, surprised, "Huh. I never figured you for a sports fan." And I said, "I'm not a sports fan. I only like baseball."
Here are some reasons I don't like other sports:
Football is too cold. And there are only, like, a dozen games a year. Baseball is summer (warm) and there's a game every day. Every. Day. Sometimes two.
Then there's basketball. Listen, if I were nineteen feet tall, I could dunk a basketball too. It's just not impressive to me that people with legs taller than my entire person can run real fast and reach real high. Now baseball, in contrast, is nearly impossible, and any given pitch or swing is likely as not to end in failure. That's awesome. Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player in the history of the world, sucked at baseball. And more to the point, lots of body types excel at baseball. You never see really fat, out of shape basketball players. But there are lots of fat, out of shape baseball players. (There are lots of fat football players too, but that's different because baseball is not a sport where advantage is gained by sitting on someone.)
Then there's Ichiro. Ichiro is taller than I am and weighs more, but not by, like, that much given that he's a god of an athlete. He is funny and ridiculously gifted, seems to have a sense of humor about himself, does this great stretch on the field that I love when we do it in yoga, and generally managed to rally a whole city around a frankly subpar baseball team.
But my favorite thing about Ichiro is two pictures of him meeting Barack Obama at the All-Star Game. No question that Ichiro is a rock star. He goes by one name. He's wildly famous, wildly popular, wildly known and successful and swooned over and fit, best of the best at his profession which, p.s., is baseball (i.e. not an easy job). And his reactions to finding himself in the presence of Barack Obama are exactly what any mere mortal's would be: reverent respect and nervous awe followed by (when the object of his affection looked away) pure giddy glee. OHMYGODYOUGUYS!!!!!!!!!!!! BARACK OBAMA IS SIGNING A BASEBALL FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!
If this man enters the Hall of Fame as a Yankee, I am never speaking to anyone ever again.
About The Author
Laurie Frankel writes novels (reads novels, teaches other people to write novels, raises a small person who reads and would like someday to write novels) in Seattle, Washington where she lives on a nearly vertical hill from which she can watch three different bridges while she's staring out her windows between words. She's originally from Maryland and makes good soup.